Thursday, January 01, 2009

A Happy New Ure!


I've only previously fished Yorkshire's River Ure twice. The first occasion - on the Hawes and High Abbotside water of the upper reaches - gave me my first ever grayling. My last visit was to the same stretch on a January afternoon five years ago. The temperature that day never rose above -4c and I remember having to break my way through ice in the frozen margins to get to the swifter moving water down the middle. Even the flowing water seemed to be somehow 'thicker' than normal, more like the viscosity of blood as it stuggled its briny way downstream, and the fly line on my reel froze into a solid mass after I accidentally dropped my rod in the margins. I failed to catch that day.

So it seemed somehow appropriate that following a 2008 during which I was lucky enough to catch at least something on every outing, I should return to a new stretch of the Ure on the first day of the new year......and blank spectacularly!

Now by my reckoning there are two kinds of blank: the first isn't really a blank at all, but neither can it be counted as success. Sometimes complete failure is avoided only by the capture of a single undersized fish. Does it count? Well technically yes, but that doesn't make the feeling any better. This past season has twice seen me on a boat in the Lake District - once on Ullswater in a flat calm when only a handful of perch saved the day, and once on Crummock when the only fish forthcoming was a brownie of about 8". Hardly spectacular fishing in anyone's book.

The second type is the genuine blank - no sign of a fish all day. Not a sausage. Nada. This is the sort of blank I had today and I'd be lying to you if I said it didn't hurt a little!

I could go into some detail as to why I failed so miserably today, but I'll spare you the sob story. Suffice to say I fished without sufficient thought and concentration, and failed completely to find what are now likely to be tightly-shoaled grayling. Bugs, nymphs under indicator and a team of spiders were all tried to no avail - leaving a frustrated angler with nothing to show for his day on the highly-rated middle reaches of a highly-rated grayling river. Other than the ridiculous pun I've used as the title, of course!

Hopefully this was not an omen and 2009, which promises to be a bit thin financially, will not prove to be as barren on the fishing front.........

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